As we acquire additional brands and launch new ones, our tech stack remains constant across all of them. Now, occasionally we will test a solution on a single brand, but if it works as hoped, it is implemented on all brands. The only real exception to this would be if the brand is NOT large enough to support that solution. There are several reasons why we take this approach, however the biggest reason is time management of our stack. Let me digress for a moment, then I will circle back.
Part of our success with economies of scale is that the same vendors also benefit when a new brand is launched or acquired. There are the obvious efficiencies you think of like the shipping carrier getting more packages, the manufacturer of a certain item we are selling getting a bigger order, and shipping supplies suppliers needing to send us more stuff. All of these are obvious places where more ordering gives us negotiation for better pricing. The same principles also apply to our technology solutions.
Bringing another account to our credit card processor, our email service provider, our subscription billing software, our ecommerce platform, or another one of our marketing tech solutions brings efficiency. It might allow us to negotiate rates or based on the type of solution and pricing model, we might be able to use the same account which brings instant savings since there are now multiple brands footing the bill. These examples with the standard examples above all lead to our successes with economies of scale. However, the value of time management of our stack is the unsung hero.
Our team for the most part (there are a handful of exceptions) are involved in the majority of our brands. This is why having the same solutions in place across all brands is important. We run and we run fast. While sometimes we might be working on a project for a single brand, we often work on a project for all brands. As an example, this week’s initiative might be testing and improvements of all brand’s website pop ups. As we jump from brand to brand adding the new creatives, new copy, or new rulesets for trigger; if we were not using the same marketing tech solution across all brands we would hit a major efficiency issue. Another example, from planning to execution of an email campaign for an upcoming weekend might take us 2 hours. If we were running similar campaigns for 4 of our brands, planning to execution might take us 5 hours altogether (not 8). Obviously, some of the time efficiency is front loaded on the planning side. However, more than half of it is accomplished in execution. If we had to jump from different email platforms to build and schedule we would not be nearly as efficient as we are.
There are also countless administrative tasks that benefit from a time efficiency boost. An example would be managing credit card disputes. Each payment gateway dashboard is different. By using the same one we don’t just benefit from a larger volume of transactions and in turn better rates, we also benefit from time efficiency. Since the same person is managing disputes across all brands, they can effortlessly jump between brands without having to re-calibrate their brains for a different platform and different steps/process.
In summary, simply put, we become subject matter experts on each tool/software we use. If you only have one brand, you should be doing this too. Someone on your team, should be an expert on every tool you use. When/If you start having multiple brands, it becomes very tough to be a true expert on multiple tools that are similar. This is what agencies do and why they are successful. We are simply creating ‘mini agencies’ inside our organization.
John Roman is the Chief Marketing Officer of BattlBox and Managing Partner of Carnivore Club. While those are his flagship brands, John is involved in a over a dozen other ecommerce brands from a equity/partner/advisor capacity.